Competent authorities at all levels
In principle, all competent authorities can and are authorised to sound the alarm in the event of a local/regional incident. The cantonal police must be contacted immediately when the siren is sounded, even in case of false alarm.
National Emergency Operations Centre
As a general rule, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), a division of the Federal Office for Civil Protection, is in charge of raising the alarm. The NEOC is the federal centre of expertise for exceptional events. One of its tasks is the management of incidents involving real or suspected increases in radioactivity, large-scale chemical accidents, overflowing or rupturing of dams, as well as risks related to natural hazards. In any event involving radioactivity, it is charged with ordering immediate measures to protect the population. Regardless of the type of emergency, the NEOC is the first point of contact for the cantons on all civil protection issues. Furthermore, in 2007 the NEOC was commissioned to run the federal Reporting and Situation Centre (MLZ). The necessary networks and instruments are constantly improved.
Cooperating with the authorities
In its role as a centre of expertise, the Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss) is in charge of warning the authorities and providing the public with generally applicable recommendations on what to do in the event of hazardous weather conditions, such as gale force storms and heavy rainfall. It works closely with the NEOC. As a centre of expertise, the Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) is responsible for warning the authorities and providing the public with generally applicable recommendations on what to do in the event of an avalanche risk. Dam operators are responsible for raising the Water Alarm.